I'm intent upon leaving the States for reasons not dissimilar to those expressed (though in more extreme form) by EE.UU., but my perceptions of current reality here differs. I was educated and have worked successively as an historian and as a lawyer. I live in the northeastern states, have friends and relatives (hey, after more than a dozen generations on this side of the Atlantic, one has relatives everywhere) in the southeastern states, the mid-Atlantic seaboard, the Midwest, and the Rocky Mountain and far West, and travel occasionally to those other parts of the country (I visited Los Angeles last week, for example, with impressions much more sanguine than Charles's). And I have lived and visited extensively abroad, remaining in contact with foreign friends and relatives, too.
So, then, here's a brief encapsulation of my thoughts on this subject, formed from the experiences, education, and character. The usual human fear of the future when too much is at risk is expressed through ignoring the threats -- until the threats are immediate, by which time the person can do nothing but freeze or panic; Americans, once a perceptive and industrious people, have become that norm (why the change? too much dependence upon governmental support and protection? unhealthy immigration?). The economic system has some years -- five? ten? twenty? -- to run before a real collapse, though this is a foretaste (of course, so were the 1960s and '70s). And most Americans will stick with the country out of conviction, come what may, for a long, long time (the illegal immigrant from China or Mexico or elsewhere, who comes only for material gain, will of course soon be discouraged by economic failure and go home).
So, then, why am I leaving? At least as much because of what Chile offers -- a less cluttered, less hectic existence in a lovely setting among decent and likeable folk -- as because of what America, after a dream of four centuries, no longer does. And I hope that no one goes to Chile chiefly because he's running from somewhere else.